Simon Rouet from France about his experience in Lang Ai Mee

I was a volunteer for two months with the help of DaLaa in the ”Lang Ai Mee” Community, between January and March 2019.

Lang Ai Mee is a small community in a mountainous area of South Thailand, located in a national park. As a volunteer, my activities took place in two ways: activities in school and activities with villagers.

The school (which is a learning center) is the biggest part of the project and my role was to: teach English to pupils from grades one to six (6 to 12 years old) and to be a part of the school life. You can give art or sports classes too, and you can join another teacher (almost all teachers are police officers too), and of course you will play a lot with the children. While a specific level of English is not required, it’s better if you can speak the language quite well; also the locals know that you may not have teaching skills (even if you can teach whatever and however you want), but you can bring your smile, your motivation, your ideas and your good mood. The children are truly adorable, they really want to learn, to play with you and to discover you.

The activities with the villagers depend on the period that you spend in the village, the needs at the moment and your host. For example, we helped to build a road and a dam, and we helped to cut rubber trees and to collect rubber. We (the volunteers) had our own house as accommodation.

This project is really interesting, engaging. It combines environment, cultural exchange, education, playing with children and organising activities with local people. Lang Ai Mee is a strong community, people take care each other and they fight the government who declared the place as a national park and tried to evacuate them. They will welcome you as a member of the community : with trust and big smiles.

Welcoming volunteers is really important to them and clearly you can’t miss out this opportunity! It was a beautiful experience for me and I have gotten a lot of good souvenirs.